John Currin


"The more love you show, the more you destroy it," says John Currin explaining his use of a palette knife in his 1997 painting called The Bra Shop. With the more than 400 works collected in his new book, this quote (describing the mottled faces on girls with massively oversized breasts) helps make clear that Currin loves paint, loves mark-making, loves line, loves color and, yes, all the sensuality of the way he paints explicitly relates to the sensuality of the bodies he depicts.

Of course, Currin's work is a lot more complicated than that. Often bizarre, usually warped and always funny, Currin's masterful technique cleverly toys with figurative painting and the book—with source photos from Currin's archive, short works of fiction by Dave Eggers and the artist's own commentary—does his extensive body of work justice. The hardbound slipcovered monograph is available from Amazon.